Photorefractive grating fixing in KNbO3 by ferroelectric domains
We report observations of photorefractive grating fixing in potassium niobate at room temperature by means of ferroelectric domains. A grating is recorded while the crystal is simultaneously depoled. By repoling the crystal, the presence of a latent grating is revealed. This fixed grating diffracts light with an efficiency which increases when an electric field is subsequently applied and when it is uniformly illuminated. We explain these observations qualitatively using a previously developed model that involves charge compensation by domain walls, and a new aspect that invokes the creation of new trap sites at the ferroelectric domain walls.